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New Texas Law: Drunk Drivers Pay Child Support if Parent Killed

A Texas law that calls for a drunk driver convicted of killing a parent or guardian to pay child support to the victim’s children took effect Friday.

The legislation, HB 393, was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 2. It calls for child support payments if a person convicted of intoxicated manslaughter kills the parent of guardian of a child under the age of 18.

The law calls for the court to determine the amount to be paid monthly for the support until the child reaches age 18 or has graduated from high school, whichever is later. It said the court will consider a variety of factors when deciding on the payment amount, including the financial needs of the child and the surviving parent or guardian, if there is one, as well as the financial resources of the defendant.

The payments will be made to the surviving parent or guardian or the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, if the child is placed in their care. If the defendant cannot make payments because they are in prison, the law states the payments must begin on the first anniversary of the defendant’s release from prison.

An intoxication manslaughter charge is considered a second-degree felony in Texas and carries a sentence of two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

“Any time a parent passes is tragic, but a death at the hands of a drunk driver is especially heinous,” the Republican governor posted on X in July. “I was proud to sign HB 393 into law this year to require offenders to pay child support for the children of their victims.”

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and poltics.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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